Expert help on how to organise a successful conference
We are always looking for ways to engage our audience, and with the help of Part 2 of our 10 Commandments, you can join the conversation with confidence…
Online social platforms are fundamentally changing the way we work and promote our services to our customers, and in turn how event organisers work and promote their event. Now, we don’t want to teach anybody or their grandmother how to suck eggs; most people are well versed in good form on social platforms, but we are ever generous and willing to share what we have learned so far in our travels on the ever changing digital landscape for those that are new to the scene.
At MEETinLEEDS we are increasingly exploring how social media sites can enable us to communicate our messages to a growing audience. We believe that this kind of interaction can help us to build stronger and more successful relationships with the people who use our facilities. It is also a way for us to take part in larger conversations related to the work we are doing and talk about the things that we care about, like this very blog.
Your social media output should be appropriately honourable to the identity you wish to promote and the image you have worked so hard to create in the mind of your delegates. Sometimes this advice is ignored, and can lead to less than satisfactory results.
Don’t see this as an attempt to put the fear of god in you: contributing to online social discussions is a great opportunity for you to inform delegates and the wider public what you are doing in the build-up, during and after an event.
Here are a few general tips to guide you through the minefield:
- Be transparent and genuine. Use your real name and be clear about your role. Stick to your expertise and write about what you know.
- Add value to social networks. Share insights and tips – make your contribution worth something to the reader.
- Respond to people. Answer questions and thank people even if it’s just a few words. Make it a conversation, not a broadcast!
- Value privacy. Do not discuss business performance or sensitive matters publicly.
- Respect your audience. Do not use personal insults, obscenity or engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable in the workplace.
- Respect the competition. Play nicely! Do not encourage or participate in conversations that criticise your competition. Anything that you publish must be true and not misleading.
- Respect the privacy of your delegates. Do not discuss customer’s details or information online.
- Listen to others. What they say may make you do things even better – appreciate the feedback.
- Don’t over share information. Never reveal anything that may be confidential.
- Tell the truth. Ensure that any content you include is accurate.
- If you make a mistake, admit it! Be upfront, honest and quick with your correction.
- Pause and think before posting. If you are about to post something that makes you slightly uncomfortable then take a minute to read through these guidelines and start again until you are happy with what you are saying.
Expert OpinionMatt Hamnett Digital Marketing Coordinator, MEETinLEEDS
Most event managers we speak to are familiar with the benefits of using social media and understand how important it is as a tool to promote their conference, but it’s easy to miss a few things that might not seem important.
Don’t miss out on the conversation: You might not think that people are talking about you on social media. They are! Keep track of the conversation with one simple hashtag and promote it everywhere. Most events end up with at least two or three variations that dilute the conversation and make it harder than it needs to be.
Plan who will manage your social accounts: Marketing teams are great at managing networks before the event but it may be that there are customer-focussed individuals with more time, and expertise in the event, who can take over whilst it’s happening.
Don’t forget that you’re providing a customer service: It’s easy to get carried away promoting your event and pushing sales-led messages but the reality is that a lot of people follow your event account to find out ‘where to register’ or ‘where lunch is’. Treat your accounts as a way of providing another service to your customers and help them out!